This past weekend we were in San Antonio, Texas, for William’s wedding to Maria Jose Fernandez. Two young lovers, two families, two cultures--too wonderful. As you would expect, everything was beautiful. Maria was stunning, Will was handsome, the parents were proud, the crowd was joyful, the weather was perfect, the Lord was smiling.
According to their custom, we gathered at the Fernandez house the next day after the wedding. This was a family gathering. The bride and groom were present in the gathering along with extended family. Of course, conversations were about the wedding but also about getting acquainted with one another. Tulancingo, Mexico meets French-Canadian, Arab, Californian, Scotch-Irish, Southern Americans.
Maria’s parents Jaime and Laura were gracious hosts, attending to everyone from both families. After many of the guests left, only a few remained and we sat around in a relaxed circle, contented and tired. Maria’s grandfather Adolfo Martinez took the guitar and began to strum and sing several Mexican songs. All sat and listened, some sang along, all enjoyed.
As he began one certain song, Jaime translated for me, explaining that Adolfo had composed this song for the family. It was a song that carried the family story and praised the values that were at the core of who they were. The song ended with words to the next generation about staying the course, working hard, being honest, honoring what is honorable, and finding your place in life and society. The patriarch had infused the moment with meaning and substance. Music, story, and purpose were all wrapped up in one meaningful moment.
It was the kind of moment that earth overlooks while heaven applauds. Quiet, unassuming, yet penetrating and powerful within the family. My hat is off to Adolfo Martinez. He hit the target.
Perhaps you remember a simple way that your family passes on heritage, culture, and values. Please feel free to share a comment; we would all benefit.